Michael., cleave to the BLACK, 2022. Commissioned for the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2022. Preview at Jerwood Space. Photo © Hydar Dewachi.

Jerwood Lates: Jerwood/FVU Awards 2022

Michael., Soojin Chang

For Jerwood Lates we are hosting a 24-hour premiere screening of the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2022 commissions online. Scroll down this page to watch new commissions by Michael. and Soojin Chang.

Both Jerwood/FVU Awards 2022 commissions cleave to the BLACK and BXBY have been adapted to watch in their whole duration and on a full screen. Wearing headphones is recommended to get the most immersive experience of the audio in these works. 

This page features links to a selection of accompanying digital content which includes new texts by Jerwood Writer in Residence Dylan Huw, essays by poet Kayo Chingonyi and academic Dr Undine Sellbach, a conversation between Soojin Chang an founder of the Free Black University Melz Owusu, a story by publisher, curator and writer Sarah Shin, reading lists curated by the artists and a playlist of sounds that inspired Michael. when making cleave to the BLACK.

 About the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2022 

The Jerwood/FVU Awards 2022 premieres two newly commissioned moving-image installations by early-career artists Soojin Chang and Michael., the recipients of the eighth edition of the awards.

The Jerwood/FVU Awards are a major opportunity for moving-image artists, a collaboration between Jerwood Arts and Film and Video Umbrella (FVU), this year in a new partnership with Leeds Art Gallery. They were established in 2012 in response to a need for significant major commissions for early-career moving-image artists at a pivotal stage in their practice and contribute to an ongoing dialogue around urgent or timely concerns within the moving-image. jerwoodfvuawards.com

Michael., cleave to the BLACK

(35 minutes)

To view this film in a high resolution, click the Settings button on the Vimeo screen above and select Quality > 1080p. 


The work you are about to experience calls for slowness. A slowness of care that is rendered within the image.

The act of slowing down begins now. “Steadiness is essential.”

Find a position in the space that holds you. Embrace all questions.

Allow the slowness to become

“a bridge for us to recognise other capacities.” Everything starts with the breath.




“moving, flowing or proceeding without speed or at less than usual speed

(diminished velocity) requiring a long time; gradual (duration)

having qualities that hinder rapid progress or action (delayed development) registering behind or below what is correct (unachieved potential) marked by reduced activity (reduced exertion)”

Tina M. Campt 


cleave to the BLACK echoes the art-historical tradition of the painted triptych in a three-screen installation that offers a panoramic perspective on the legacies of the past that continue to leave an indelible mark on contemporary Black male experience.

Alluding to episodes from the Bible and stories from African folklore and cosmology, the work brings a subtle overtone of parable and myth to its carefully composed and quietly haunting scenes. Looping sequences of a procession of figures slowly climbing an outdoor staircase in a regulation council block are contrasted with a tableau of those figures sleeping (at nightly peace or at final rest). In between is a third screen depicting an arcadian landscape – a memory of a time long gone or a glimmer of better things to come?

Far from a vision of utopia or a fantasy of paradise, it feels more like a space that is being reimagined and remade, from the bottom up.

Moving through a series of gradually unfolding transitions, in its deliberate, meditative pace, the piece celebrates slowness as a precondition of recovery and care and also as a lens through which the movements of the Black body attain a distinctive state of poise and grace. Made in close dialogue with a group of Black men from different London communities, cleave to the BLACK is a work of authentic, personal expression and evocative, atmospheric poetry.


Artists biography: 

Michael. is a Black British artist-filmmaker and community worker born and based in London. His work explores the poetics of blackness and being. Michael was formerly known as Michael McLeod and has since dropped his surname due to its historic colonial context.


Additional Content:

Jerwood Writer in Residence: Araf, bach, Dylan Huw 

Essay: The Cape and the Cloak, Kayo Chingonyi

Reading list


Soojin Chang, BXBY

(37 minutes) 

Select the CC button on video screen to turn on English language captions. To view this film in a high resolution, click the Settings button on the Vimeo screen above and select Quality > 1080p. 

Content note: BXBY contains graphic reproductive content, direct reference to terminated pregnancy and imagery of the culling and dissection of a deer.


BXBY is a semi-fictional work that reflects upon and interrogates the category of species. Part documentary and part performance, this contemporary creation story follows the artist as a hybrid being who is trying to learn to reproduce.

Embodying a shape-shifting character – part animal, part woman, part alien – Chang turns biomedical methods for reproduction into rituals which reassemble the spiritual, industrial, and personal in intimate proximity. Sampling diverse scientific methods such as IVF, biohacking, and voluntary self-touch, BXBY addresses the legacy of colonial science to open out into wider affirmation of queer, interspecies kinship and reliance.

BXBY invites the tension between violence, acknowledgement, and release. Chang and their collaborators – Jade O’Belle, Choulay Mech, Anika Ahuja, and Aditya Surya Taruna a.k.a. Kasimyn – honour ancestral transmissions and queer reliance embedded in planetary survival. BXBY is offered as a space for collective witnessing of infinite realms enfolded into every being.


Artist biography: 

Soojin Chang (b. 1991, unceded territory of the Ramaytush Ohlone) is a Korean non-binary performance artist, filmmaker, ritual practitioner, and researcher who lives in Glasgow and works internationally. Chang’s practice negotiates contemporary ethics, colonial inheritance, and trans-species reliance through animist methodology.

Current and recent interventions include: Dog Eggs at Asia Culture Centre, Gwangju (2022); Heavenly Shower of Banknotes at ICA London for FUTURERITUAL (2022); A heifer would be needed for the sacrifice at Tramway for Take Me Somewhere (2021); State of Possession at CCA Glasgow for //BUZZCUT// (2019); Death Ritual at Sa Sa Art Projects, Phnom Penh (2019); and Hair Eggs at MoMA PS1 (2018). soojinchang.com


Additional content:

Jerwood Writer in Residence: The bowels were regarded as the seat of emotion., Dylan Huw 

Essay:‘Why should our bodies end with our skin?’ Intergenerational longings, dislocations and waiting in BXBY by Undine Sellbach

Story: rules without meaning by Sarah Shin 

In Conversation: Soojin Chang and Melz Owusu

Reading list 

FVU Frames: Interview with Michael. 

Select the CC button on the Vimeo screen to turn on English language captions.

FVU Frames: Interview with Soojin Chang

Select the CC button on the Vimeo screen to turn on English language captions.

Installation views of the Jerwood/FVU Awards exhibition at Jerwood Space until 23 July 2022

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